Health Information Management

Fall 2017 start: applications open on Oct. 19, 2016.

  • Two-year diploma
  • Fall start
  • Includes clinical practice
  • Graduates in high demand
  • Recognized by the Canadian Health Information Management Association

Program Description

Watch a video about Health Information Management studies at SAIT PolytechnicPersonal health information about Canadians is being collected, recorded, reviewed, and transmitted every day. Informed decisions affecting health services can only be achieved with the best information available. The role of health information management goes beyond managing health records to managing the information contained in those records. Using computer skills and knowledge of healthcare fundamentals, critical medical information is translated from patient health records into data following national data standards. The health information management professional then interprets the data to provide comprehensive quality information for patient care, resource allocation, statistics, research, planning and education.

The Health Information Management program is two years in length and is divided into three semesters for each year. The fall and winter semesters for year one and two involve classroom instruction, some of which is in a computer lab at SAIT working with industry-specific software. The spring semester for year one involves a six-week unpaid practicum placement at a small to medium sized healthcare facility. During the spring semester of year two, students will complete an eight-week unpaid practicum at a large healthcare facility or organization. Note: There is a possibility of out-of-province placements due to a shortage of practicum sites within Alberta. It is also common for placement to be outside the city of Calgary.

Due to the heavy computer component of this program, students are required to have access to a computer outside regular class time.

Certain courses are available by distance education or continuing education - COMP264, HILA200, PATH242, MEDT261, PATH252 and PROF240. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the Program Outline. Please be advised that full-time student status requires the student to take 60 percent of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by distance education or continuing education, students may be considered a part-time student, which may impact their financial loan status.

As some of the content is delivered in an online environment, students will be required to have a personal computer with Internet access.

Your Career

Graduates find work as health information management professionals and are primarily employed in hospitals.

Student Success

  • Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.
  • Students who experience success in this program have effective communication skills in English.
  • Health care practitioners are detail-oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment. 
  • Basic computer skills are essential for success in the program.